Sunday, December 31, 2006

Reflections of Me

So yesterday was productive and I did my whole "go to the gym, get started early, run a million errands and return home with a proud sense of accomplishment" routine. It worked well. I did feel good that I got a lot accomplished. It felt good that I was able to do so. Purchased gifts I needed to, went to the bank.

And that was good. And I came home and dyed my hair and made plans for the evening. And was yet, still productive.

And then I started thinking. I thought about the class at the gym and how I felt like gravity was pulling especially hard on me. And how I don't just drop weight as easily as I did before. And even just thinking about how my life has become this big before and after. And how it just seems so unfair that I won't ever be the same as I was "before."

Tuesday, December 26, 2006

Musical Recap

Yikes. Three months since I last "blogged." And here I thought I was going to be so much better at it now. I have been busy though. So I should cut myself at least a little slack. Bagged two productions of King and I, one of My Fair Lady and one of Into the Woods.

Into the Woods I just adored. Loved every minute of it. I love the music, I love how I don't have any down time and how I'm playing non-stop. Love it. It's a great cello book - challenging, but not impossible or fear-inspiring. Good stuff. Plus, getting to play with the ole gang is always a good thing. I was incredibly bummed when that was over - it was too short a run to really get into it and I have nothing on the horizon for a while. At least until the craziness of the School Musical Season begins.

So now, what I really should be doing is practicing. Playing and polishing pieces. Will that actually happen? I hope so. I just want more. More out of what I'm playing. I don't want to be just a hack, grinding my way through music. I dunno.

I actually did come up with a good idea though - DH asked when and where I was going to get my new tattoo and I decided that before I can get it, I need to work my way through the first 3 Bach suites. It'll be better if I actually have to earn it.

Saturday, September 23, 2006

I Could Never Be Rich
So I went to Bloomingdales to try to use a $50 gift card. $50 at Bloomingdales is almost silly. It's enough to get something, but nothing substantial. I mean, tee shirts were $35. $35!! That's insane. I can get 3 tee shirts for that at Target. Hence, why I could never be really "rich." I could be comfortable, where I don't have to worry about money or just go shopping at Target whenever I like, but I could never get to the point where I actually purchase $35 tee shirts.

So I looked at ridiculously overpriced clothing, totally expensive shoes, and just plain odd looking hats and scarves. Finally I reached the cosmetics department and circled around there for a while. I tried the Clinique counter, but it was occupied by annoying looking women and when I hovered around, the women in lab coats (is that supposed to make me think that these women know more about skin than the glammed up Chanel girls? it really makes me think the opposite) basically ignored me, so I gave up on Clinique for good I think. I cautiously made my way over to the Chanel counter. The girls there were really friendly and I just made my request as plain as I could. So then, lo and behold, less than 5 minutes later I'm walking away with a beautiful compact with pressed powder.

I think I'm going to start an almost all-or-nothing policy when it comes to cosmetics. Either I'll be buying Revlon and inexpensive makeup or saving my pennies for Chanel. I love it. It comes in this little velour pouch, and the compact is this simple black style with the delightful logo on it. Plus, the cosmetics are just such high quality. I'm definitely hooked.

Tuesday, September 19, 2006

Caution - Cello Under Construction

So I have to take Fred in for some minor work. There's a hairline crack that I've got. Luckily, it's nothing much, and should just take maybe a week to have fixed. Plus, I ordered a new A and D string and really, really need my bow rehaired. I'm thinking once this is all done, Fred will be in tip top shape and ready for the next marathon I have coming up. I have 2 free weekends and then non-stop action:

Sept. 23/24 - Free
Oct. 1 - Possible baseball trip/Oct. 2 - Free
Oct. 7 - Free/Oct. 8 NPSO Rehearsal
Oct. 14/15 - Fall Fair at work - working crazy-like all weekend
Oct. 21 - Free, Oct. 22 - NPSO Concert followed by rehearsal for King & I
Oct. 28 - King & I performance/Oct. 29 - King & I performance followed by rehearsal for My Fair Lady
Nov. 4/5 - My Fair Lady performances
Nov. 11 - My Fair Lady/ Nov. 12 - Free
Nov. 18/19 - My Fair Lady Performances

So basically, I have craziness till Thanksgiving. But it's all good - I'll be seeing my pals and just playing my little heart out. Nothing bad about that at all. It's just odd to look at my schedule and *poof* my weekends are filled. But what good is having weekends if you can't fill them with something you love?

Sunday, September 17, 2006

Have You Seen the Way They Kiss in the Movies?

So, my run of "Thoroughly Modern Millie" has come to an end. It was an amazingly fun run. There was just this great dynamic in the pit that was so great and so synchronous. Plus, we're all talking about the next couple of shows coming up, so it's all good. The cast was great, we were smokin', it was all good.

Mom, Dad and Tommy come to the show. I'm extra excited to play and pay uber-close attention so as I don't make any stupid mistakes. Show goes well, audience seems to like it. Family enjoys it (which is always a plus) and everyone could actually hear me as an added bonus.

Two shows on Saturday. An afternoon matinee which went fairly well - good crowd - and they had interpreters for the deaf. We all joked that if the audience was deaf - why would they need us? But it was another good show. Eight of us then piled over to Bertucci's where we drank (it was a 2 martini weekend - I had a Berry Smoothie type martini here), stuffed ourselves silly and just had amazing conversation. We all talked about music and how this generation now that we're all teaching has very little frame of reference when it comes to music. We all grew up watching Bugs Bunny and Tom and Jerry. Classical music galore. So when it came time to play the Hungarian Fantasy or William Tell or The Barber of Seville, we were already accustomed to what it was supposed to sound like. It's interesting. So we talked about that, we talked about movie music, about current and future shows happening. Jill had me try Sapphire Gin mixed with club soda with lime. Now, I'm not a fan of lime, but it was a pretty good drink - I'll have to keep that in mind. So we trek back to the theatre and it was just beautiful outside. Balmy, breezy, just nice. So Jim, Jon, Ed and Jill start up a frisbee game and I settle down next to Denise to just read the paper and enjoy the fresh air. They were having fun, I was having fun watching them and it was just great to be outside and soak up some last bit of warmth before fall really kicks in. We head back inside for our second show and that's where we all start getting punch drunk. All of us were chiming in when we could with what was going on onstage. It was just too too much fun. But then, at the end of the show, where I have this hugely exposed part I miss a G#. Argh. I was pissed all night. But I got over it.

I get to Jill's house and we head off to Hofstra. Park far away to get some exercise. Then went on to the Italian Fest and ate a piece of bread stuffed with pepperoni, salami, ham and cheese. Argh. But we had a good time walking around, just enjoying the gorgeous weather and looking at different wares from different vendors. Then inside we went for the last show of Millie. It was quite bittersweet - lots of fun, totally jamming on the score but knowing it was the last time (for a while at least) we'd be playing it. Then after the show, Jill, Sandy and I hit Papparazzi for a nice, leisurely dinner, complete with martinis to celebrate the end of a real good run, good friends and good health.

It was just such a great weekend. And even though I was plenty busy without much time for myself, it was so fulfilling and wonderful. I mean, how many people really get to spend their free time doing something they enjoy thoroughly and get paid for it?

Friday, September 08, 2006

Pink Elephants on Parade

So I've been stressing all week about my appointment with Dr. B. I was trying to think logically, that I've been feeling really well, been doing good at the gym, not coughing, not having fevers or sweats or anything. But I can try to think as logically as I want and it doesn't matter. There's this tiny voice in the back of my head that continues to chant "You had cancer, you can get it again, it might come back." So I just needed the validation. And once I heard that my CT scan came back clear and that the scar tissue is shrinking yet even more, it felt like 2 of those pink elephants that plagued Dumbo after drinking the champagne-tinged water just floated off my shoulders.

So then I was able to enjoy a nice evening of playing my heart out and just generally enjoying the bliss of being healthy.

Monday, September 04, 2006

The Tube Music Network

So in flipping channels over the extended weekend, I discovered a new one I really hadn't given much time to. The Tube. All videos all the time. No reality stuff, no awards, no news, just videos. And it's so random, like one of those format-free radio stations. I mean, you've got an archived performance by Marvin Gaye, followed by the video for Dani California by the Red Hot Chili Peppers. It's absolutely brilliant. The best thing since Vh1 Classic. I've done almost nothing all weekend but watch it. I'm soaking up old favorites and new-found treasures.
I Turned A Corner

Well, we opened Millie last Friday. It went pretty well. (With the exception of a misplaced prop and an actor then hissing "f*ck f*ck" into their mike) And it was fun to get back into the swing of being a musician again!

Plus I hung out with the fellow muscians, gobbling up free food at a party Friday night and staying out past midnight 2 nights in a row!! What a wild life I lead.

But each night as I was sitting in the pit, I actually took some time to just enjoy playing. I relished in it and looked around. I love how it gets so loud down there, I love how there's this little glowing light coming from all the stand lights, I love how as soon as the overture starts we all just sink into the groove like the show's on this track and just chugs along. I'm really lucky to get to do something I love so much.

Wednesday, August 23, 2006

Read this insane article on how Ted Turner is doing away with smoking scenes in cartoons.

He's absolutely insane. I mean, how can you just edit these cartoons. I guess he has the rights now or something, but I mean, it's just awful. Why not edit out the Mammy character from Gone With the Wind. Or edit out all of Humphrey Bogart's smoking in movies.

I just don't understand why parents expect it to be the responsibility of others to censor or adjust what their children watch. I grew up with a whole generation of people who watched Tom and Jerry and Bugs Bunny. And surprisingly enough, none of us go around hitting each other with anvils, blowing each other up with dynamite or lighting each other on fire. Hmmmmm....wonder why that is.

Monday, August 21, 2006

Queen of Free

So I've just printed out 2 coupons for freebies. I love getting free stuff. I revel in it. I love getting something for nothing, for beating The Man at his own game.

So I've got a free Seattle company coffee beverage and a free dessert from Ruby Tuesday in honor of my birthday. Doesn't get much better than that, does it?

So all this freebee stuff....can't get enough of it.

Could I be more of a dork?

Sunday, August 20, 2006


How is this fair? One location of Lucille Roberts is next door to McDonalds. One is next door to Baskin Robbins and one is next door to Cold Stone Creamery.

Is that supposed to be a true test of me or is it just a big cosmic joke?
Happy Birthday To Me...

I had to do a birthday post. It just screams cliche. And I've been to the gym (I figure that might help start the year on the right foot) and just chowed on a BLT and Cheetos. Hey, if I can't eat my favorite junk on my birthday, when can I eat it?

And I had a glorious birthday dinner last night. Delicious food, silly antics and even a game of "Pin the cherry on Curious George's ice cream." I was spoiled rotten and just basked in the warmth of being with my family. I even got weepy on the way home, feeling lucky that I have such support and love.

But my day isn't near over yet. I get to play my cello and get paid for it on my birthday - how cool is that?

Life is (still) good.

Friday, August 18, 2006

Can You Hear Them?

So I'm feeling slightly goofy and decided to do a hommage to the record cover for Beauty and The Beat:

Tuesday, August 15, 2006

Ahhhh....back in the day

So I watched Good Night and Good Luck tonight and was just wowed. What frightened me was how tangible and relevant it is to today. So eerie. I loved the speech that Murrow gave telling the television professionals that they need to change the purpose of television from mindless entertainment to educating and challenging people. Now then, could that possibly be relevant today with such gems on tv as Bridezillas and Jerry Springer?

Sunday, August 13, 2006

A New Sensation

So there's this new singer on the block - Corinne Bailey Rae. She's got a breathy, soulful voice and sings great tunes. But more than that, she's got uber-cool curly hair that she wears beautifully.

And You're Like a 90's Kennedy

Well, so far it's been a delightful day. I woke up my sweetie to say goodbye, he squints his eyes open, smiles and says "Oooh, pretty." That's always a nice way to begin a day.

I get to the country club and it's absolutely gorgeous out. People are playing golf, are walking and there's this small spot where we're set up in front of the wedding. It was so intimate and quiet and lovely. And I get to play Bach and quiet wedding music. And then as people were leaving, we played some ragtime - how neat! And Lianne, the flutist turns to Meg and goes, "She's smoking." And I just beamed inside. You never know, playing with new people who have never heard you or played with you. So it's such an affirmation that's making me float on air today.

Then I stopped at the supermarket and picked up some stuff for a yummy, unconventional dinner - antipasto type items and that little square bread he's always saying looks so cool. AND....upon coming home, I discover he made the bed before leaving!! It just kept getting better and better.

So now, I'm relaxing listening to "Adult Alternative" and chowing on a baloney sandwich.


Thursday, August 10, 2006

A Red Letter Day

To start with, I tried to dress on the nicer side since I was meeting with a printer. So I sported a comfy, yet nice outfit. Polka dots galore - I always feel like I'm channeling a spirit from the 50's when wearing that. So I'm wearing something nice, go to put gas in the car, get free coffee (if it's free, it's for me!) and off to work I go. I get some work done, have a good meeting with the printer and back home I'm headed. Before I can even leave work, my friend Chris calls me and I tell him I'll call when I get home.

Get home and make a few calls, firm up this weekend's wedding (hooray!) and call Chris......who contracts me to do Into the Woods!! Hooray hooray!! We chit chat for a while and I'm thrilled. We're both so giddy to be playing together again. He tells me I'm his "number one cello!" He's just such a cutie and so talented that I'm honored to be working with him. He's also just so enthusiastic and so optimistic. Just the idea of doing so much more work is titilating. I was on an adrenaline high all night. So high in fact that I actually baked a cake at 9:00 p.m.

Diane stops by and we hit my new favorite "fast food" place, Panera. I could just sit and eat soup and bread all day there. So we get some time to chat, which is always good.

Come home and bake my cake for Mirek who has been saintly in helping me get my office relocated. I assemble, bake and clean everything and then retire to the bedroom to just unwind. Turn on the classical station, and with the first few chords I recognize the Elgar Cello Concerto. Dash to grab my copy of it and follow along. I realize, yes it's insanely difficult, but certainly not totally outside my realm, so I vow to at least try to get some of it going.

So, all in all, a really good day. Pretty good day. Can't really complain about one like that.
You're a Cookie Filled With Arsenic

Could this movie be any cooler? I watched it the other night and just relished in all the glorious bits of it. It's got biting dialogue, amazing shots of gritty pre-Disneyfied NYC, swanky costumes, a character who almost always wears a fur, old-school's too much, not to mention a jazz ensemble that has a cello in it. Too cool.

I think this is a movie I need to own, simply because I feel more glamorous just watching it. Simply a must for anyone who considers themselves a die-hard NY-er.

Wednesday, August 02, 2006

What? Are You Kidding Me?

So I have a regular day at work, made only marginally crazy by a training on software. Then go for a pedicure with my pal Patricia, which was long overdue and really relaxing. We were able to catch up and just enjoy some peace and quiet. So then I make my way over towards Huntington for my concert. I go to my favorite wrap place
European Republic and get my favorite chicken and brie wrap and Belgain fries that I surely don't need. Yummy yum yum. I then make my way to the Italian ice place and ask when they close, thinking that an Italian ice would suit Tommy and I as we watch the eagerly anticipated week's installment of Project Runway. I run around a little and finally drop Fred off, hop back in the car and get the Italian ice and stash it in a backstage fridge.

The concert was agonizing. I poured sweat. I oozed sweat. I had sweat coming from places I didn't know had sweat glands. It was awful, but somehow I made it through without vomitting or fainting dead away. I was glad to get out of there when we were done. I grabbed my ices and hit the car as quickly as possible, cranking the ac.

Upon getting to the neighborhood of my neighborhood though, I saw a traffic light out and realized the power outages had finally reached us. I saw that some blocks had power and some didn't and the one before mine had power, so I was hopeful. What made me even more hopeful was the fact that the streetlight on the side of the house was on. I prayed, please please please. But when I got to the front door I knew all was in vain. The outside sensor light didn't go on and the doorbell was dark. I swore. Well, actually I cried first and then swore. So I trudged upstairs, with the cello on my back, in the dark, fumble for what feels like forever and make my way inside. I manage to get the cello away, somehow take a shower and go downstairs to sit on the steps to call Mom and Dad and the electric company. Tommy gets home an hour later, smiles at me on the steps until I say, "No power."

Long story short, we pack up, somehow get all our stuff and get to Mom and Dad's to sleep in my old room. What would we do without them???

Tuesday, August 01, 2006

Dinner and A Movie

So hot. Too hot. Heat wave. So when Tommy came home from work I gave him a deadpan ultimatum: Movies, library or the mall? He tossed the decision back to me, so I chose movies. We first hit Burger King and then saw
Lady in the Water.

Burger King puzzles me. It seems to have this seedy side to it - like it's McDonalds' red-headed-step-sibling - that it knows it can't compete with, so it just tries to go the other way. I dunno. It just seems like their help doesn't quite know how to get it right. But I had a delicious salad with chicken and those cheesy tots, which are odd. I can't tell if I like them or not. (*Note - tried them again and really enjoyed them, so I guess it's one of those hit or miss items.) But it was just nice to enjoy air conditioning on such a brutal day and leisurely eat dinner. I grabbed a slice of Hershey's Pie to enjoy during the movie and we left for the theatre.

I love, love love the Farmingdale UA Stadium theater. It's never too packed, the seats are comfy and it's just smaller. Plus, I can use $6 movie coupons. Can't beat that. So Tommy grabs some popcorn, a soda and a honking container of water and we settle in to our seats. In lieu of the usual wacky pre-movie slides, they actually had previews of upcoming television shows which was more interesting. I found a show that I really think I might enjoy: Heros. It looks different, it's got Greg Grunberg from Felicity and Milo V. from Gilmore Girls, so I figure I'll give it a try.

I loved the movie. Loved it. I really like M. Night's way of telling a story, his characters, how he lets a story develop. People (critics) are just so negative about it. And I don't understand this, because they dislike his other movies for the same reasons they raved and gushed about Sixth Sense. I don't get it. I just know that I enjoy his movies and eagerly look forward to them.

So a real nice evening and at least a couple of hours relief from the disgusting, ungodly heat we were having.

Sunday, July 30, 2006

Finally, Thai Food!

Had a really nice dinner with the gals at Nanking, a Thai restaurant. I got to eat all sorts of different food, since Jill is the queen of appetizers. It was decorated beautifully - tall bamboo shoots places around the restaurant - creating little screens and dividing up the space. It was dark, but inviting - like a little hideaway. There was a private room to the side, done in reds and gold with a huge Buddha - it looked like a little theatre. Plus a pretty, lit aquarium next to the bar.

We ordered drumsticks with a sticky, ginger sauce, lamb chops, fried lotus stems and a papaya salad. The drumsticks were good - a little too sticky for my liking though - I'm not a wing person, so take that at face value. The lamb chops were delicious, cooked perfectly with just a hint of spice to them - I could have eaten a plate of them. The lotus stems were surprising. They were fried and then coated in a sweet and sour type sauce. I thought they were kind of like zucchini or a vegetable that, when fried tastes of the batter and whatever you put on it. They weren't heavy, but were more about the texture than the taste. The sauce was good - not too sweet but a nice counterbalance to the other spicy items we had. The papaya salad surprised me the most though. I was thinking it would be very fruity but it was....fragrant, refreshing. The papaya and vegetables were julienned, so it was almost like eating cold noodles - very Asian, but so different.

Jill ordered eggplant in a garlicy tomato sauce, Steph ordered shrimp with black bean sauce and I ordered duck with curry sauce. We got 2 bowls of jasmine rice which sopped up the fragrant and unique sauces. I loved the shrimp - the black bean sauce was delicate, not cloying like the kind you get from the local Chinese take-out. The eggplant was tender and tasted just enough like garlic. The duck was different....but I'm not sure I liked it enough to order it again. It was cooked nicely, but I'm thinking chicken would better compliment the sauce. We all shared and there was enough to go around and for leftovers. (Of course, we were also sufficiently padded by the appetizers)

The owner was very nice and came over to us - chatted us up since the restaurant was still so new. It was nice to get the attention, and nice to see someone making sure that their patrons were enjoying themselves. He sent over complimentary port for dessert, so of course we ordered fried bananas with ice cream. The bananas were still firm, not mushy, and the coating was sugary and crisp. A perfect ending to the meal.

We gave it 4 #s out of 4!

(Last month we tried Peter's Pasta. The food was delicious, and the service attentive, but it was a little more expensive than we would have liked - good for a cheaper lunch, but expensive for dinner. That one we gave 2 1/2 #s)

Saturday, July 29, 2006

Happy Birthday Rabbit

Got to go to a birthday party tonight and just have some relaxed fun.

Lesson of the Day:

Jack Daniels mixes much more nicely with Pepsi than Coke.

Just a personal observation is all.

Friday, July 28, 2006

When Did I Become a Woo-er?

So, I started my day off yesterday with a trip to the gym, which had touted a Salsa class instead of Kickboxing. I was all for that. I get there and just sit and relax for a little while. Women are trudging in and once word gets around that it's not kickboxing some storm off angrily. (Hello...there's been a sign in the front for weeks now saying this is what's going on.) Evelyn comes in and I'm relieved. She's a fantastic instructor and really is laid back. I really like her classes. So she gets us started and I got so into it. Loved it. My inner Alex Owens ( was released. Thankfully there were no chairs or water release chains around. But it was just good fun - I didn't care about making a fool of myself or being self-conscious, I just had fun. And embarassingly enough, found myself replying with a "Wooooooo!" when Evelyn asked "How's everyone doing?" *hanging my head in shame*

So I felt mildly vamped up since I got my groove thing on, went food shopping and went home to chill before picking up Diane. I was glad I offered to take her since she was in a bit of pain after the doctor visit. Plus, I'm just so indebted to her after she did so much for me (and Tom) when I was sick. So I was glad to help her out. We hung out, ate Chinese food and actually had a nice evening with the guys who joined us after work. And, had someone told me about the glory that is cream ices at Ralph's long goodness. I'm slowly working my way through that menu. They're better than regular ices (which to me are always very melty, too sweet and too fruity), a little creamy, but not as pleghmy as regular ice cream. Delish.

Monday, July 24, 2006

Lessons Learned While Traveling To The Orange County Fair

Saturday came in gloomy. But I had faith that the weather might improve while I drove first to upper Manhattan to fetch Annie and Ahmed and then to Middletown for the Orange County Fair.

Lesson #1 - There is no need to go over the Triboro Bridge when going to Annie and Ahmed's. Yup. I made the error of not knowing that the FDR and the Harlem River Parkway were the one and the same road. So, I unknowingly got onto the Triboro Bridge, paid the darn toll and looped around Rikers Island. Luckily, I easily made my way back on course and still made it to their apartment in an hour, and we were on the road.

Lesson #2 - If you are heading anywhere near New Jersey, go on a half-filled tank or less. This is because gas prices in Jersey are at least 10-20 cents cheaper a gallon. I thought I was being well-prepared and smart in making sure the tank was filled. Alas. I could have gotten cheaper gas.

Lesson #3 - In-car snacks are very important. We didn't want to eat too much before arriving at the fair, lest we fill up before getting our hands on all that greasy/fried/cheap/stomach-ache-inducing fair food. We were looking forward to funnel cakes (of which Ahmed didn't know), cotton candy, corn dogs (for me, the non-Muslim), popcorn and homemade rural goodies like pies and other baked delights. But it was a good thing we had something to snack on, as we eventually got punchy and snackish. And if we weren't entirely starving, we'd be able to pace ourselves better. We slowly made our way north and west, the light drizzle we first encountered getting steadily harder. But since we kept hitting pockets of non-rain, we thought we had a chance....leading us to,

Lesson #4 - Always check weather forecasts before doing an outdoors activity.
We arrived at the parking lot, paid $5 for parking (Lesson #5 - There will always be free parking somewhere else, you may have to walk a bit, but it's better than being an out-of-town rube.) and sat in the lot while the rain poured down on the car. Ahmed did work and Annie and I tried amusing ourselves by coming up with alternate plans. We checked Ahmed's Blackberry and found that the rain would just keep getting harder and harder (3pm - Hard Rain, 4pm - Hard Rain, 5pm Strong Storms, 6pm Strong Storms) and it seemed that the fates just didn't want us visiting a fair. So we cut our losses, made tentative plans to hit the fair the following weekend and made our way back towards home. But before we left the area, we drove around the fairgrounds and found that they were quite extensive. We saw the bleachers for the "Masters of the Chainsaw" show, all sorts of food tents, a ton of nausea-inducing rides and even an "Old-Time Photo" booth. The anticipation of seeing Ahmed dressed in Old West gear gave Annie and I a good case of the giggles. So we scouted it out and thought maybe we might try again next weekend.

We then made our way back - stopping at Nyack, which I remembered to be a quaint little town "nestled in the lower Hudson Valley." So we stopped, parked the car and decided to look into the cute stores and find somewhere to eat. We went into a few nice stores, they bought some nicely scented soaps and Annie treated me to an "Arabic Groove" cd, which boasted the best of contemporary African and Middle Eastern songs. It is actually quite excellent and I love it. We searched for a restaurant which had promise and narrowed it down to a Northern Italian, Japanese, Thai and even an Irish Pub that touted a nice selection of seafood. So we went with the Irish Pub on the basis that we could always get good sushi back in the city. We had a lovely dinner (rack of lamb for me!) and then went in search of the little place that the local map was quoted as saying "Voted the best desserts in the Lower-Hudson-Valley." Sounded promising to us. So off we went in the pouring rain, giggling and getting sopping wet until we came across Temptations. Annie opted for a flourless chocolate cake, Ahmed for the chocolate mousse cake and me for the Kentucky Derby pie (think a nuty chocolate chip cookie in pie form.) We also grabbed for some of the vintage candy; Charleston Chew (here then known as Chucky Chews) for Annie, (Lesson #6 - Chuckie Chews are the most amazing candy I've recently discovered. How come nobody told me about these things? I remember them being hard and tooth-dislodging, not fluffy pieces of vanilla-y heaven) and rock candy and Atomic Fireballs for Tom to bring him home a surprise (in addition to the mini-squirt gun and egg-laying chicken I nabbed at a toy store). It was a cute place, with incredibly helpful service. I'm always amazed that there are still younger adults who are happy to do their job. The only other place I've recently encountered this is at the local Ralph's Italian Ices, where I was waited upon by not one cheerful teen but two. I was astounded. So we then traveled home, and quickly grabbed the Tappan Zee Bridge (which Ahmed had never gone across before) where we found Lesson #7 - The Tappan Zee Bridge is cheaper than the George Washington Bridge. It's $6 to get back into NYC if you don't have EZ Pass ($5 if you have EZ Pass during rush hours, $4 during non-rush hours) - $4 to take the Tappan Zee. So we were delighted to have "bucked the system" so to speak.

We make our way to Blockbuster on Broadway and 103rd Street and grab "Freedomland" to watch while eating our desserts. It was an okay movie, thought-provoking enough and has lots of good acting to it. (I took out the book today from the library.) After the movie I work my way home and make it home in less than an hour. Off to bed I go, not having visited the fair, but far wiser than I was when I left in the morning.

Friday, July 21, 2006

Shrimp, Broadway and Fabulousness

My fabulous night on Wednesday. First, I went to the gym and had a good workout. I noticed while checking in that this woman wearing a scarf in that tell-tale cancer person way was talking to another woman about her hair growing back. I got a little bold and walked over and said "Mine grew back the exact same way!" They both looked at me and marvelled at how curly and thick it is. I spoke a little to the woman and we compared notes and treatments and on the way out we both wished each other well. It's odd, but when you find someone who's been through the same thing as you, there's an instant kinship. It's nice and strange and sad all at the same time.

So I get home and relax (or try to in the 90 degree heat) till I need to get dressed, wearing a kimono-type top, black skirt and strappy sandals. I let my hair run free and grab my new knock-off designer bag. The train was fairly air conditioned. We get to the city (Mom and I) and start making our way uptown. We duck into a little body product store that was new to me ( I grabbed mango body butter, mango shower gel, a new natural sponge and a lipstick for mom. We meander further uptown to meet Annie and Ahmed at Avra, this amazing Greek restaurant ( where I had grilled shrimp over the most amazing moussaka I've ever had. Even before the amazing shrimp was a little dish with olives, bread, hummus and olive oil. I could have just eaten bowls of radishes slathered with hummus. Annie of course ordered dessert as did Ahmed, so I sampled a delicious chocolate lava cake with fig ice cream and semolina custard. to the theatre to see the hugely acclaimed new production of Sweeney Todd, starring Patti "the original Evita" LuPone. ( She's just a powerhouse. I sat there watching the opening number with tears in my eyes, just astounded at the people on stage. There were 2 Tony Award winners. It was phenomenal. The pared-down orchestrations were so intriguing, the bare set worked perfectly, and the fact that the actors played the instruments was magical. I didn't know what to watch - the actors singing or the ones playing. It is a mind-blowing production and so completely different than how it was done originally. So I somehow make it through the show without fainting dead away from ecstasy and we beat it over to the stage door to wait for the actors. We get autographs from everyone and I got my picture taken with Patti LuPone. I couldn't stand it. What a perfect night. Plus, it's always fun to be in NYC. So much energy, so much enthusiasm.

Monday, July 10, 2006

Sunday, Lazy Sunday
I had a truly relaxing Sunday. Went to the gym, where I really worked hard, which felt good. I was actually almost able to use the larger weights, which is rewarding. Plus, I sweat a gazillion times more from that weight training class than I did from the step class the day before. Then I ran a few errands; picked up some clear polish to give myself a proper pedicure (I'm Not Really a Waitress courtesy of OPI), and a bagel to toast at home. Got home, took a loooong shower and actually put on a robe to lounge in. I was able to read, watch a movie and do my toes. It was so nice just to pamper myself.

Since the new boss, I feel like my stress level has dropped considerably, which is so odd. You'd think a new boss would make more stress. I guess that's speaking volumes about the old boss.
Global Village
So I went on Saturday to a "barbecue" at the home of friends of Annie and Ahmed to celebrate her graduation. It wasn't a barbecue - it was more of a casual party in which we got to meet a lot of their friends which was really nice. And as I was sitting with this Egyptian/Palestinian/Iraqi group I noticed something. They were all mostly well-off; dentists, doctors, real estate moguls. They all drove nice cars and the home I was at was absolutely breathtaking. However....unlike "Americans" they never mention their wealth, never mention things they've acquired with their wealth and never really make distinctions about class. Which is so strange, since it's so huge in the countries of where they come from. Now, is this because they think it's un-American to do such things? Which would be ironic because I've found Americans to be so rude in this department. People think nothing of comparing what they have to what you have to see if it gets a response from you. Or is it because they are more polite than the average American? Just an observation/pondering.

But all in all, it was a really nice gathering. It was nice to see the people who care about A-squared and see them all together. For me, any time I can have Middle Eastern food is a good thing - everything was delicious and I always relish (no pun intended) in being able to try something different. With desserts there's such a focus on honey and semolina rather than chocolate and cake. It was so neat.

Friday, June 30, 2006

*Grumble Grumble @*&)-ing Celebrities

Why? Why is Britney Spears posing nude? (How much airbrush paint did that artist go through?) Why are they claiming that doofy Taylor guy as a "hot bachelor?" I really don't get it.

But what's really bothersome is the fact that people eat this up. They don't say, oh, you know, that Taylor guy is as much as a doof as he was before he sang mediocre-ly on American Idol. He's still a doof, just in better clothes and with more money. I just can't understand it.

And this whole "You Think You Can Dance" thing. That I don't get. I understand they took a concept and ran with it, but if you were to take it, make it actually serious, and air it on PBS, it wouldn't get a second look.

But I digress....

Laura is in for her last day. I'm so conflicted on this. It almost doesn't feel real yet. She was my first "real" boss. She's been there, for better, or for worse, through thick and thin. It's not going to be an easy change, but hopefully, one that will be for the best.

Sunday, June 25, 2006

Please Stop, My Brain Hurts

So, for some unknown reason, I decided to take work home with me. (Apparently I don't have enough personal projects I'd like to make headway on, either that, or I have serious procrastination issues.) I took the Wealth Engine Training Manual home with me to read, along with a sample report.

First of all this manual is horrifically written. Typos everywhere and numbers missing off of diagrams. Things don't make sense with the report I pulled. It's just a nightmare. I actually have a headache from trying to make heads or tails of all this.

And now, I've just noticed online that the library didn't log something in that I returned and paid a fine on. The receipt of which I promptly lost. Argh. So much for a lazy Sunday. I need some mindless entertainment. A People magazine, an episode of Dharma and Greg. Anything.

Okay - time lapse of about 3.5 hours. We went for a ride out on Ocean Parkway, counted the bunnies along the way and grabbed some food. The fresh air really did me good. My head felt cleared, I felt invigorated. Maybe I'm not used to having time on my hands. Maybe I feel guilty a little in a way. But we came home and I decided to call Meredith to congratulate her on her wedding and for some reason, blammo, I'm right back where I was. I don't know, maybe I feel like I'm so far away from her and don't know who she is anymore. All I know is that when I'm on the phone, it feels....forced in a way. Like I have to muster up the excitement and gear up for the conversation. So....I poured myself a little of Mr. Jack and am now ready to relax and enjoy the rest of my Sunday evening. What also got me here was thinking about work again. And that's where the worry...I mean concern piles up again. I worry about the new boss, about being able to handle everything, about having to move my office again (short term annoyance, long term benefit). It just piles up inside my head until I can't think straight. Hence, the company I'm currently keeping with Mr. Daniels.

But I digress....I did make some headway today. I actually made it through the Beatles scores and marked all the pages that had string parts to them. Not that I really think all this will come to anything. If nothing else, I'll learn some more about Finale and writing out parts. It'll be good to know more about treble clef - it's about time I was able to read it readily rather than sitting there like a moron, playing by ear and eeking it out.

All in all though, I had a good weekend. Went out in the new car with Dad Friday night, which was lots of fun. Saw Joe play drums (and got inspired to learn how to jam!) and just had a neat time. Saturday I ran errands and felt useful, then relaxed a bit before going out for a nice dinner with friends. Not too shabby. Today I even went to the gym so as not to feel like a total potato. Which is good. I needed a nice weekend before the chaotic week I'm sure is waiting for me. Between it being Laura's last week, and the 2-day software meeting/interrogation, I don't know what's in store for me. Not to mention 3 rehearsals. It'll be fine.

Tuesday, June 20, 2006

Could They Be Any Cooler?

So I'm totally loving the Beatles right now. It happens this way every time after I do a Beatlemania concert. And now I've got Finale Notepad on my Mac, and a copy of the Complete Beatles Scores on its way to me so I can extrapolate and get all those string parts into my hot little hands.

Listening to them makes me want to practice, makes me want to be a better musician, makes me want to know every word to every song backwards and forwards.

I muse over John's sensitive, inquisitive style, sing along with Paul's hip tunes and nod silently at George's soul-searching. I giggle with Ringo.

What other band could delve into so many song styles and be phenomenal at it? Nothing escapes them.

So, I'm tossing all the Beatles I have onto my work machine so I can deluge myself with the fab four.

In other news, it's overcast and heavy outside. I'm waiting for the clock to strike 3 so I can run home and relax. Read some books and practice. This weather makes my chest hurty, so I'm feeling sleepy. Not to mention the new apartment is so so cozy. As much as the old apartment was a cave when I was getting better, the new one is just so inviting and lovely.

Monday, June 19, 2006

Too Long Between Posts

I've been very lax in posting. I really should make it a daily habit to post either upon arriving at work or before I go to bed.

But I digress...

Just finished another Beatlemania concert - which then prompted me to get into gear with my proposed project of extracting string parts from the Beatles scores. Which is an ambitious thought, since I don't know how to use Finale yet and those scores are just massive to read. But it's an interesting project, and one I hope to complete. I have all these unfinished projects sitting around and I hate that I don't see anything through. So, hopefully I'll get these parts written, get a group together and then can market this to a Beatle tribute band. We'll see.

In other news...I am done done done with henna. Gave it the college try once more and it did NOTHING to my grays and was incredibly messy. So I think I'm going to try the semi-permanent route Mom does and have Uncle Frankie hook me up. But for now my hair's doing it's old many-colors-at-once thing. Makes me feel younger.

Guilty Pleasure Alert
I can't believe I'm actually admitting this, but for some reason I can't stop watching reruns of Dharma and Greg. I don't know why, I don't know what's causing this phenomenon, but I can't seem to stop. It's highly embarassing and I can feel my brain screaming in my head, but I'm helpless. Maybe there's a support group somewhere for it.

Thursday, May 04, 2006

I See Dumb People
So, I was confounded by lots of dumb people yesterday, both familiar and famous. Firstly, I was pounced on by a teacher, who actually complained about the fact that they didn't win a raffle prize. you not know what a raffle is? Granted, there were many prizes, so it looked as though everyone was getting one, but she was just so vehement in her protestations. It was insane. What an obnoxious sense of entitlement.

Then I was objected to some obnoxious girl on "Daddy's Spoiled Little Girl." I don't know why these people even get air time.

Then I had to hear about Barry Bonds writhing in pain because he got hit in the face with a foul ball. Too bad they didn't hit him harder.


Saturday, April 08, 2006

I had the glamorous life of a musician this past weekend. I played Friday night, hung out with my fellow musicians afterwards, and played literally all day Saturday into the wee hours. Saturday went something like this:

  • Woke up.
  • Tried to get motivated to start my day.
  • Pulled on clothes.
  • Drove 35 minutes to get to rehearsal in Glen Cove.
  • Sat through an agonizing rehearsal that started and stopped a million times.
  • Drove home and hit every light possible, making the drive home agonizing as well.
  • Tried to relax for about 20 minutes before jumping into the shower.
  • Hit the road with Chris, whereupon we talked about everything hair and musical theatre.
  • Got to Massapequa HS - made it through Les Mis in one piece and then sat through 20 minutes of "thank yous" and "goodbye seniors" through which Chris and I squirmed, knowing we were going to be running late!
  • Bolted out of M'S, drove like banshees up to Plainview and made it to CAP with plenty of time to spare.
  • Played a midnight show of "Last 5 Years" and loved every minute of it.

I just felt amazing after the show Saturday night. Tommy found me backstage and was in awe - he actually loved it. He was talking about it the whole way home. I played my heart out and just relished in the music. I don't know why, but it's a show that just infects every part of me. I feel the music inside and out. It's such an amazing and challenging cello part, plus I'm playing with these people who are real musicians. Roger actually toured with the show and Debbie plays on Broadway. It's like being famous by association.

There were hugs abound since we dont' know if the run will be extended - I'm hoping it is - any excuse to play this show some more. Then on my way out, I saw Eric who was impressed by the show too - which was a HUGE compliment.

I drove home on a cloud.

Sunday, April 02, 2006

Not the Glamourous Life
You'd think being a musician and hopping from show to show would be infinitely glamourous and amazing. Not so, I discovered as I was driving through Burger King's pick up window and gobbling down chicken tenders before a midnight show. I was exhausted and wiped out and just wanted to hit Taco Bell and go home. But I ate my "dinner" and went into the theatre. And all it took were those first few notes of L5Y to settle my spirit and get me going.

Saturday, March 18, 2006

What a Great Weekend
Friday night found me at a lovely art opening reception for a work friend. It was so nice to be able to support her - her artwork is just amazing - organic, colorful and beautiful. Plus, there was great conversation and just mingling outside of work, which is nice once in a while. Then off to get Afghani food, which was delicious. Tommy and I went to Huntington and our separate ways - me to the Afghani place, him to grab a burger. I stepped into the restaurant, and it was like a little slice of the Middle East. Soft, ethnic music, brick walls and colorful cushions strewn around. It was quiet and peaceful, and it smelled faintly of curry. It was just...different. Not a pasta place, not a Mexican place, different. So we met up again on the street and then grabbed some Belgain fries. Crunchy and mealy with unique dipping sauces. It was an international food fest.

Then Saturday, I had my rehearsal for Last Five Years. I went to the theatre, expecting it to be empty, but there was a children's party and tons of people staring at me with my huge red cello case. Upon Chris' arrival, we instantly started oohing and ahhing over the numerous great moments in the show. Rich, the male lead showed up and whisked us off to Nick's house where we met Debbie to practice. It was just 2 cellos, piano and bass, but instantly I was lost in the music. Which sounds so cliched and cheesey, but true. We played it through once and then decided we needed food. Off to Houston's we went and ate ourselves silly. Rich worked there once, so we ate like kings and were well attended to. (I could easily eat a sashimi tuna salad every day - delicious) We went back to Nick's feeling full and happy and played the show again. Because I had already lived through the show once, I played with confidence and kicked butt on it and hence looked like a cello goddess. Then back to the theatre and our respective cars and home. The whole way home I felt like the day had been a daydream. Passing time doing what I love, eating good food and hanging out with fellow musicians. Not too shabby.

Sunday I was able to relax a bit since I didn't have rehearsal till 7pm. And it was a nice easy rehearsal - no drama, no big huge music, just good ole familiar Rodgers and Hammerstein. There was something comforting about being able to just read through it, being that I had previously played all the shows the songs were plucked from.

So a glorious music-filled weekend. I was actually able to answer with an emphatic "yes" when people asked if I had a good weekend, which was nice to do, rather than mumble something about the weekend just being too short.

Saturday, March 04, 2006

I Can Do Better Than That
I went to the gym this morning - it felt good to be there and get incredibly sweaty. But listening to the random klatches of soccer moms made me wince. They talk about such inane things - class parties and bus routes. It made me wonder - this is their free time that supposedly belongs to them and they still talk about their children? It reminded me of the time that Kim invited us to watch Megan play soccer on the big field - I showed up and was promptly ignored so she could gab with her fellow class parents. Awful. Yes, I imagine you want to talk about your children all the time, but what about the things that made you you before you had children? I almost feel smug - that I have something that sets me apart - makes me special. I thank God all the time that I have my music to set me apart from everyone else. It's almost a secret too - no one would know unless I told them (or unless of course they knew me from the music community).

Sunday, February 19, 2006

Taco Bell and Dead People
I actually surprised myself this morning by heading to the gym for the second day in a row. Did the last 15 minutes of the cardio class and then the 45 minute weight training class I intended in attending. I feel like I'm back in the swing of things where I'm actually looking forward to going to the gym and realized this morning that I enjoyed it just as much from the back of the class as I do from my "usual" spots. Aaaannnnndddd....made the nice realization that I was able to follow the routine pretty well even after just seeing it once. Not too shabby.

So yesterday I got a lot accomplished and today I was fruitful before lunch. Which gives me the right (in my opinion anyway) to laze around today and relax and eat lots of food.

Not to mention the fact that I have a huge, disgusting cocktail to swill down before bedtime. Yup, another "routine" CT scan. No matter how many of these poking and prodding and scanning tests I go for, I still dread and look forward to them. It's so strange how I can feel a million different ways about this stuff. I feel conflicted. I feel worried, I feel like an old pro at it, I know since I feel good I'll (eventually) feel relieved when I get the good news, I feel like the center of attention (let's face it, not everyone is so oohed and aahed over). But mostly it just makes me feel tired. Which is why I guess I'm enjoying the gym so much. I actually got pissed at the gym the other day - daring that cancer to show its face again to me.

So tonight, in appreciation of my good conduct this weekend and in anticpation of good behavior tomorrow, I'm going to grab some delicious Taco Bell (double decker supreme, regular taco and nachos) and dive into the second season of Six Feet Under. Mmmm mmmmm.

Wednesday, February 01, 2006

Arrgh...Rock Bottom
It's interesting as to how many times your day can turn around. The times are approximate, the names have not been changed, because no one is innocent.

7ish - Got gas and picked up some good coffee. Pin one on the good day side.
7:45ish - Stopped for gas and coffee, hit no traffic and still got to work early. Another tic for the good day side.
9ish - Delved into work of arranging mailings, printing envelopes and coordinating a huge mass mailing. Not astoundingly good, but not bad.
12ish - Scratched the pasta itch with spaghetti and meatballs and had pleasant conversation in the lunchroom. Good day side.
1-3:50ish - Made major headway with work, finished printing a slew of envelopes and got the invitation ready for the printer. Finalized files to be brought to printer, getting yet another task done. Good day side.
3:54ish - Got ready to get changed for the gym. Excited about getting back into a workout routine. Good day side.
3:55ish - JMJ comes into my office upset about an error on a mailing. Made me feel about two inches high and question my whole career choice (or lack thereof), and wonder if I'll ever have a job I'm actually proud of. Sobbed the whole way home and went through anger, frustration, sadness, lamenting and finally apathy. For the past week, since Laura announced her leaving she's been nothing but bad vibes. She's doom and gloom about getting everything done, sighing at everything and generally just in a sour mood. Complaining about board members and imparting her bad humor on me. Not to mention I am so blatantly overworked with too many duties that I can barely keep things straight. Nor does it help that I'm in the main office (how was this a good idea again??) bombarded by students, parents and teachers.
But I digress...
4:30ish - Neighbor across the street says "Hey, your tire looks low, keep an eye on it. By the way I'm Jody and it's real nice to meet you." A complete stranger who showed some kindness to me and made me feel human again. It's a lesson to learn that we never know how we will affect someone else. I actually feel like I can think clearly again.

So I'm sitting trying to think about where I am, what do I want to do, what can I do? I can't help but continue to return to the downward spiral of thinking that I've just made numerous bad decisions.

Bad Decision #1 - Being an art major. What on earth was I thinking? Where could I have thought I was possibly going with this? I'm going to have to seriously look through old journals to see if there was any reasoning behind this. I mean, there had to have been something behind it.
Semi-Bad Decision#1a - Not looking more seriously at Towsend when the cello teacher showed interest in me. What was I rebelling so hard against that I turned away from music? Where would I be today had I taken advantage of this opportunity?
Bad Decision #2 - Taking a crappy job at Williams-Sonoma. Now, granted, I thought this would lead to event planning and other opportunities (or so I was led to believe from the management there) but I had to know this was a bad decision.
Bad Decision #3 - Leaving GE. Yes, GE would not have been as understanding or flexible when I got sick (or maybe not - maybe at that point I'd have had a home office?). But free tuition? Upward mobility? I had blinders on and could only see the bad, and not the possibility of the good.

So here I sit, alternatively moping and trying to be productive. Updating my resume and trying to think reasonably. I guess it's only natural to think such things after a bad day and wonder what could be or could have been.


Tuesday, January 31, 2006

Had a glorious Saturday. Diane came over, we henna-ed our hair (which provided many a chuckle throughout the day), watched movies and ate copious amounts of food. It's good to have a friend that just "gets" you. It's a no-work friendship.

The henna looked amazing in Diane's hair, but barely showed up in mine. I have to try it again and make it thinner so it gets in all the nooks and crannies in my big-ass hair. Such a battle with my hair - it's incredibly healthy now, but so so dark. Makes me mysterious I guess. But I still want more red on/in it. A cherry-cola shade so to speak.

But I've been having good hair days using either MOP Mixed Greens Conditioner or Back to Basics Pommegranate Peach Condish and to style using Aussie's Dual Personality under Suave's Aloe Vera Gel. Who knew good hair care could be cheap??

Tuesday, January 24, 2006

Too Little Too Late?
You ever feel like you've learned something about too late to do anything about it? I feel like I've found this amazing music thing and now I'm so far behind where I should be. I feel like I should have a solid "career" by now and I don't. Just a string of jobs that I change when I can't stand it anymore.

I don't know if it's a case of the winter blahs, or if I'm just upset with where I am (which happens periodically). I get bored with where I am, try to figure out what I can do or where I can go, etc. I don't know if I'm just at odds with myself because I feel so off target from where I think I should be.

Sunday, January 22, 2006

The End of an Era
Today is the last performance of Cats. I feel very conflicted about this. On one hand, I'll be glad to have my weekends back (until the next show of course!) but I never can cope with long-term things ending. Especially with no real next show on the horizon for me. I think that's what's bothering me most - no new project in sight. Gary's probably going to keep most of Sunday in the Park for himself, which is somewhat maddening since I shared Ragtime (and hadn't shared the same gig the previous 2 years). But the last show is always so bittersweet for me. It always gets me a little in my heart - I guess all the time and sweat I dedicated to it makes it feel a little more personal.

Last night I went out with Margaret and the pit - had so much fun. It's just fun to be around other musicians. It's fun to be goofing off and feel accepted. I always feel like a "real" musician when I'm out with the gang. And I usually never fraternize with cast members - it was nice to get to know a few of them.

And it helped greatly that I played well last night. Which makes me more confident and feel even more accepted.

I know I should be grateful for the shows that I do get to play and for how often I get to play. But I always want more. More connections, more gigs, more playing. I never knew how much I'd really grow to love music. In high school I always did it because it was what I was good at, what I knew - what got me attention. And I did love it, but I was so fearful of making it my life's work. I guess now I can always say, "Oh no, I'm not a professional, it's just a hobby for me." and impress people with that. But I wonder so often where I'd have wound up if I had even just minored in music. Sometimes I feel like I'm learning about myself too late. I often wonder where I'd be if I had come to my senses a lot earlier.

Now I guess I really have to get back to the gym and start whipping myself into shape. I'd love to go back to Bethpage looking even better than last summer. And would especially love to look better each time people see me.

Wednesday, January 04, 2006

Cardinals and Grandma
Yesterday didn't start out the best of days. Actually, it started with Monday. Back to work after the holiday break, trying to get back into the swing of things and dreading the doctor's visit the next day. I reasoned with myself a million different ways, in thinking that I wasn't feeling badly, I wasn't coughing, wasn't feverish. But you can only tell yourself to calm down a million times before you start tuning yourself out.

So I worried, and plotted and planned and fretted over what I'd do if the lymphoma came back. First, I'd dye my hair blonde. Hey, if it was going to fall out anyway, I might as well have some fun with it before it went. I'd have to make sure the chemo wouldn't interfere with any rehearsals or shows and insist that I didn't have a PICC line to mess up my arm. I had it all figured out. Hope for the best and prepare for the worst.

On the way to work Monday as I was driving up the driveway, poof, there was that cardinal rushing across giving me a glimpse of itself. It made me smile and reminded me that in the grand scheme of things, I'd ultimately be okay.

Monday evening approached and I became more disgruntled. I was crabby, unresponsive and pensive. I didn't want to talk about it and just wanted to curl up and sleep to escape my thoughts. Tuesday I dressed as nicely as I could, hoping that looking good on the outside would make me feel better on the inside. Which it did to an extent. At work I was short and introverted, not responding to joking around. It was also rainy and damp as if the weather were trying to accompany my sentiment. And then at one point of the day, I just couldn't find letters I had done and was really starting to panic. I figured I'd check one more time upstairs in the office and made my way towards it. As I walked, something outside the window caught my eye. That cardinal was sitting outside, as if it were waiting for me to catch a glimpse. It sat and sat, moving just enough to be noticed. And I stood at the window just watching it. And as soon as it knew I saw it, it flew away. I almost burst into tears. Of course the letters where were I was headed to and everything turned out just fine at the doctor's. Everyone was delighted to see me, my chest x-ray showed a clean bill of health and nothing to worry about. CT late next month and we'll see you around.

It never gets easier to live with the fact that I had cancer. It's always a nugget in the back of my mind and pops up every once in a while. But at least I'm reminded that I have the strength and support from those I love - those with me every day and those who watch me from afar to deal with whatever pops up.

Sunday, January 01, 2006

Groovin' With Cats and Eating With Celebs
Wednesday night's show was cooking. I love that. I felt in the groove, wasn't thinking about anything else and just played. That's when I always start pontificating that I should get more into music. Which of course leads me to take out about a million books on music theory and listen endlessly to cds. I get like that sometimes. I get interested in math, take out books, realize how much I like it and then fizzle out. I often wonder where all this is going to lead me. Which is why I enjoyed Ruth's books so much. Her journey was such a cirtuitous one, that it makes me feel better that I don't often feel my life travelling in such a straight line. Right now I feel like I'm in something of a holding pattern, that things are on the horizon for change, but not just yet.

But I digress.....

2 Thursdays ago I got to eat at Felidia's, which was so neat. It was really cool going to a restaurant that was reviewed in the Times. I always say that as much as I enjoy my simple life, I could easily be a kept woman and live in the lap of luxury! But Felidia's was beautiful - the restaurant itself is rustic, yet fancy, not overboard, but just lovely without trying too hard. I felt comfortable there, not out-of-place. The service was amazing, attentive without being too cloying or overbearing. The bread basket was interesting - sweet breadsticks with hints of rosemary and cheese to be dipped in flavored hummus and olive oil, mixed in with crusty bread and crumbly scone-like bread. I ordered the shrimp in a creamy sauce served in a red onion and pasta with duck. It was so delicious. Everything was so tasty. The shrimp was tender, but not mushy, the onion was delicious and I used the bread to get every bit of the sauce I could. The pasta with duck was delicious - the meat tender and full of flavor. I'm hoping the leftovers in the fridge are still good - I plan on breaking them out today. Annie was the only one who ordered dessert, but they still brought out a plate of toasted pannatone type bread with a caramel flavored sauce ladeled on top of it and then a plate of cookies on top of that. Truly decadent. It was nice to be treated so well at a restaurant I wouldn't normally go to. Definitely a place to go to for a special occasion if you want to be sure you'll get your money's worth and have an enjoyable meal.

But what a whirlwind the holidays were with Ann's wedding (which was amazingly lovely) and playing so much. I almost can't wait to get back to the monotony of work. Which of course I'm dreading at the same time. I'm hoping with bringing new software around there's possibility for me to grow a little.